Hot Cocoa Chocolate Bundt Cake

My bundt cake streak continues with this Hot Cocoa Bundt Cake that I tastespotted over on the Cookies and Cups blog. I took the best elements of this cake (the hot cocoa) and married them with my tried and true gluten free chocolate cake recipe. This is my first time baking my chocolate cake in a bundt pan and it turned out amazing. Get into the recipe and be sure to have a slice of this decadent cake for breakfast with a mug of hot cocoa or coffee.

Hot Cocoa Chocolate Bundt Cake 

Ingredients

dry

1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour blend
3⁄4 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup + 2 tablespoon dark cocoa powder

wet

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup vegan margarine
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄2 cup rice milk
1⁄2 cup brewed hot chocolate (may use water or non-dairy milk)
2 large eggs

glaze

  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips 
  • 2 tablespoons dry hot chocolate mix
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar in bowl and set aside
  2. In a Kitchenaid stand mixer, cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy; about 2 -3 minutes.
  3. Add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like wet sand.
  4. Combine the rice milk, coffee (or other liquid), and vanilla and add all at once. Beat until just combined.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.
  6. Spray Bundt pan generously with non-stick spray.
  7. Slowly pour mixture into Bundt pan
  8. Bake 60- 70 minutes
  9. Allow cake to cool completely before glazing

glaze preparation 

  1. In small saucepan over low heat melt chocolate, dry hot chocolate mix, rice milk and vegan margarine together until melted, stirring frequently
  2. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes
  3. Pour over cooled cake

Source: Cookies & Cups 

Glazed Banana Bundt Cake

I’m elated to be back in the swing of sharing recipe development and food photography for all of my loyal readers here in 2019. My return to basics begins with this luscious Glazed Banana Bundt Cake which I tastespotted on the interwebs a few days after the new year. Naturally, I had every ingredient in my pantry right along with frozen overripe bananas. This cake got rave reviews at a recent potlock and makes the perfect early morning or late afternoon treat with tea or coffee

Glazed Banana Bundt Cake

Ingredients

dry

3 cups all purpose gluten free flour blend
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt

wet

1 + 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1+ 3/4 cup mashed banana (use overripe bananas)
2 eggs separated

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together dry ingredients, set aside
  3. In a Kitchenaid stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Add in separated egg yolks and vanilla
  5. Slowly beat in flour blend and applesauce until completely blended
  6. Beat in mashed banana, use a silicon spatula of white sides of bowl ‘
  7. In a separate bowl, beat separated egg whites until stiff peaks form
  8. Fold egg whites into mixture as the last step (batter will be thick)
  9. Spray bundt pan generously with non-stick spray
  10. Slowly pour mixture into bundt pan
  11. Bake 45-55 minutes

Source: Life Made Simple Bakes

enjoylife grain and seed bars

Enjoy Life Grain & Seed Bars | Product Review

With 2018 in the rearview every one is slowly getting back into the swing of the New Year and with that setting goals for cleaner, healthier, and better ways of being. Here on theglutenfreechef blog we promote whole plant based foods processed as minimally as possible but this doesn’t mean that busy active lifestyles don’t need a supplement here and there.

This is where our favorite gluten free snack brand; Enjoylife comes into play. As a brand Enjoy Life is all about taste-FULL worry-free snacks that are full of whole ingredients but free of the most common allergens; gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, and more. They have a huge product line that includes baking chocolate, cookies, snack bars and more. Currently, we’re snacking on their newest flavors of grain and seed bars; cranberry orange and lemon poppyseed.

Enjoy Life Grain & Seed Bars

The Cranberry Orange Grain & Seed Bars re packed with purity protocol certified gluten free oats, three types of sorghum, plant-based protein, and fruit including tangy orange and sweet cranberries. They are the perfect am pick me up right as you get up in the morning or a lovely mid-morning snacks with a serving of greek yogurt or almonds. Even better this flavor or one of the other five including:

can fill the sneakiest late night sweet tooth craving. Each bar has only 5 grams of suga, 4 grams of protein, and only 120 calories. Whats’ better is you can literally see the real whole ingredients that make up each bar and with a simply ingredient list you can know what you are putting into your body.

Top 10 Most Viewed Blog Posts of 2018

2018 was a whirlwind year for theglutenfreechef (read more) and the first time since its inception that the blog had little original content for much of the year. Fortunately, the blog has been blessed with amazing international readers and supporters that kept the website vibrant via Facebook and Instagram activity. Keeping to tradition, we found it vital to share the posts that received the most views throughout the year even though original content was kept to a minimum

So without further adieu… The Top 10 Most Viewed Blog Posts of 2018

Top 10 Most Viewed Blog Posts of 2018

10. Turkey Meatballs | Recipe 

9. Dole Quick & Easy Broccoli Slaw | Recipe

8. Chocolate, Banana, Apple Smoothie | Recipe

7. Vegan Sweet Potato Cabbage Soup | Recipe

6. Gluten Cutter, Digestive Enzyme | Product Review

5. The Honest Company | Product Review

4. Sorghum Biscuits | Recipe

3. Alexia Crispy Seasoned Potato Puffs w/roasted garlic | Product Review

2. Vegan Sorghum Pancakes

1. All About Graham Flour

Happy New Year | Where In the World Was The Gluten Free Chef in 2018?

Dear Readers,

We made it! One more year down one more year ahead of us. If you’ve been a long time follower of theglutenfreechefblog.com you’ve more than likely noticed a decrease in engagement from me throughout the year. For this I apologize. 2018 was a year of great sacrifice for me as it pertains to this blog and theglutenfreechef brand. I spent the majority of the year building my skills as a non-profit leader and growing 540, Inc. and 540WMain Communiversity.

Initially I thought I would be able to devote the same amount of time to both endeavors but early on last year I let go of this optimistic burden and decided that half doing many things marginally well made less sense than paring down my focus and doing a few things very well. This decision meant that for the first time, I would out this blog on the back burner of my creative focus since we started in 2012.

What to Expect in 2019

But don’t fret. This decision has been a blessing in disguise. This creative break has given me a renewed zeal for this blog and brand and allowed me to cultivate a refreshed and renewed interest in the way I am growing and investing in this blog and. Simply stated, I cannot wait to share all the amazing new recipes, digital content and more than I have planned out for this new year.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you for your patience and support in this journey that has continued for over six years and counting. As I’ve shared before, my present is the result of this website and I will never forget the blog that started it all. Here’s to new beginnings in 2019.

xoxo

theglutenfreechef

A Wellness Cycle Keeps the Flu Away | Guest Blog by Kseniya Popov-Huang

Does it feel like your winter wellness strategy is limited to crossing your fingers, and holding your breath when walking through crowded buildings?Winter wellness is a lifestyle that starts with minimizing stress and germs, while maximizing nutrition, connection, outdoor life, and sleep. These interconnected lifestyle pieces can make you more resistant to the flu and other diseases throughout the winter.

My family of six has kept the flu away for four years – here are six tips to help you do the same by building your immune system and creating a cycle of wellness.

6 Ways to Keep The Flu Away This Winter

Tip #1: No stress is best 

Stress lowers our immune response, but it also interferes with sleep, appetite, and our ability to handle daily tasks. We’ve worked hard to reduce stress in our lives by streamlining household chores and reducing outside commitments. Most importantly we listen to our bodies – if stress is creeping in to ruin activities that should be fun, perhaps we’ve over scheduled or over stretched our family, and it’s time to dial back the activities even more. We also add extra hugs and eye contact – studies have shown that physical touch and eye contact reduce stress and increase levels of dopamine – the feel good hormone.

Tip #2: Hands washed often

Germs are everywhere, and in the winter, when we have so little sun, and so many sniffly noses, you can almost feel them crawling all over you. We fight them by having firm hand washing rules at home, and by not wearing our outdoor shoes inside the house. My husband enjoys wiping things down with disinfectant wipes when things get really out of hand.

Tip # 3: More sleep 

Sleep is so important to the immune system! We have regular bedtimes, even for the adults. Any time I rob myself of sleep for a week or more, I’m guaranteed to pick up a cold or stomach bug out of nowhere. Sleeping well (at least eight hours in a dark, cool room) also helps to reduce stress response in the body, and control cravings for carbs and sugar. This means that a good night of sleep and white space in your calendar helps you choose the nutritious food that will protect and fortify your immune system.

Tip # 4: Five servings of fruit

We try maximize vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins, and minimize refined sugars and empty carbs. We aim to have at least two vegetables available for dinner – and fill half the plate with veggies. This can be hard for the kids, so we include prepared salads, and Indian, Russian, or Chinese style veggie dishes that are more flavorful.

Tip # 5: Outdoor Fun

There have been a lot of studies done about the effects of nature on humans recently, and most conclude that beings outside lowers stress response, increases appetite for healthy foods, and helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which helps us sleep! I try to find interesting ways for the kids to enjoy taking walks or working in the yard – they may ride on bikes while we walk, or we play games to see who can find the most interesting nature item.

Tip # 6: Vitamin D is key 

Our last line of defense is supplements – we take vitamin D and multivitamins. If I hear that kids at school or work are getting sick, I double up on raw garlic in our cooking, and cook more Indian dishes – I believe the combinations of spices help fortify our immune systems.

Conclusion

It has taken us years to put the above cycle in to practice, and some times we still struggle. We’ve felt the difference in our family, and I hope you can create a wellness cycle in your life as well.

About Kseniya Popov-Huang

Kseniya is a community member, parent, and professional passionate about health and wellness. 

Four Herbs to Calm Anxiety | Guest Blog by Noor Najam

Hello there! Feeling anxious lately? You would do well to know that anxiety does not only represent itself as a feeling or a state of mind, anxiety has negative impacts on your body as well.

For example, your heartbeat gets faster and you sometimes lose your appetite as well. There are so many other effects of anxiety that make you unproductive and totally take away your motivation to do anything. So, the very first thing anyone will recommend is taking your anxiety medication but so many of us have problems with anxiety medication, right? It’s addictive, has so many unknown chemicals and let’s not even get into the side effects!

So for people like you and me, who shy away from medication, fresh and healthy food also comes to the rescue! In this case, it is herbs:

Chamomile

My personal favorite herb of all is chamomile. It works wonders for relieving your anxiety and de-stressing you all over. Sometimes when I cannot sleep at night because I am too busy fretting over small things, a small cup of chamomile tea with honey is all I need to fix myself and get back on my feet.

I understand some people cannot stand tea, so there’s no need to worry; there are many other ways to take in chamomile. For example, you can take chamomile herb supplements with your food. Chamomile essential oil is also easily available in the market so you can just use it as massage oil or in a body scrub!

Kava-kava

Chamomile is for people who suffer from small bouts of anxiety from time to time. Kava-kava is much stronger than chamomile when it comes to relieving anxiety. There has been a lot of research on this drug and studies have shown it to dull the effects of anxiety greatly.

There is one problem though, kava is said to be quite dangerous to the liver. So we recommend you do not take its supplements often and never consume it with alcohol or if you have any liver problems at all.

Passionflower

Passionflower is another somewhat mild herb that is said to relieve anxiety in people. It is said to have the same effect as some anti-anxiety drugs like diazepam or oxazepam. It is supposed to work slower than the medication, though.

The difference is in the side effects. Passionflower may cause slight drowsiness to the user but it can be overcome easily while anti-anxiety drugs are usually addictive and may harm the nervous system as well.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm lies in the same category as passionflower and chamomile. It is said to have a fresh, lovely scent which helps in making you feel better as well. Lemon balm can also be taken as a supplement or consumed as a tea.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an Ayurveda herb that is being used in therapy for centuries now. In recent studies, it has also been found that ashwagandha supplements also improve the effects of anxiety in people. This herb also has minimal side effects and is quite safe for consumption.

About Noor

Noor Najam is a 22-year old student who loves to explore food delights and ever-growing new tastes of different regions. She likes to stay fit and make healthier food choices. She thinks she should have studied a culinary related bachelor’s degree instead of her current bachelors in Social Sciences. She regularly posts on https://pateeri.com/.